To sleep, perchance to dream.
To stay up, perchance to snack.
Aye, there's the rub! And no fair making an X-rated joke out of that line, because this post is about dreams, not sex.
I had that awful dream again last night, the one I've been having ever since I was a small child. In fact, I've had it so often and for so long that I'm now collecting royalties from other people whenever they have it!
In the dream, I am going in to take a final exam. I have not attended class all semester, have not studied, and don't even know for sure what the subject is I'm taking the test in. I am fraught with guilt, insecurity, and an extreme sense of deep and abiding fraughtness!
At that point I awake and experience inexpressible joy that it was all just a horrible dream. Then I do not sleep for the next six months committing Wikipedia to memory until I'm ready to ace that sucker!
Why do we dream at all?
It is indisputable that dreams can tell us a great deal about the dreamer, such as that he is asleep at the moment. One man dreams he is being chased by Nazis, another dreams he is being chased by a giant man's pants zipper. What does it all mean?
Absolutely nothing, except either way both guys are being chased by really big pricks!
Of course, it was Sigmund Freud who first referred to dreams as "the Royal Road to the Subconscious." Further research since Freud's day, however, has shown that the Royal Road to the Subconscious is actually Interstate 47, which leads to Schwenksville PA. I'd wondered for years why my psychiatrist Dr. Kropotkin was always asking me "So how do you really feel about Schwenksville?"
We often hear that dreams only occur during REM sleep, but we now know you can dream during non-REM sleep as well, provided none of us tells the sleep researchers.
Is it true that people only dream in black and white?
Another myth is that most people dream only in black and white. Personally I always dream in full Eastman Color, although the quality is faded and badly in need of restoration. I also tend to dream a great deal in French with English subtitles. This can be extremely annoying, especially when they pull the caption away before I've had a chance to read it.
Once I went through an entire evening dreaming in Japanese dubbed into English. Got to the point I didn't even need the dubbing to know what was being said was "LOOK! GODZILLA!"
I've also had a few random dreams in Italian dubbed into English, which is kind of nice except when people's lips move too much for what they are saying. This happens especially whenever I'm dreaming about the late actor Steve Reeves playing Hercules.
Can dreams foretell the future?
I don't know about this, but it makes a good argument for not sleeping with someone who continually moans in his sleep "Oh no, another film with Nicholas Cage!"
There are on file a handful of unexplained instances which seem to strikingly indicate the existence of clairvoyancy in dreams. The noted Midwestern psychic Edgar Carsick once awoke in great panic after dreaming about an ocean liner, swirls of rushing water, and frantic cries for help. His dream unmistakably pointed to an unspeakable catastrophe involving a cruise ship, a chilling prophecy that came all too horribly and tragically true shortly thereafter.
The very next day Mr. Carsick paid twelve bucks to see The Titanic 3D.
Does the movie Inception accurately portray the true nature of dreams?
The movie Inception showed that other people can actively participate in our dreams, although I've never seen actress Ellen Page floating around anywhere in mine, not even one lousy goddamn time! Then again there are probably laws even in the Dreamworld that would have my ass hauled into court for even thinking about doing nasty things to someone as young as Ellen Page, if not to Ellen Page herself.
Inception revealed a whole new aspect, depth, and dimension to our dreams. It certainly has me scared to death to play dreidel anymore come Hanukkah time.
All this talk of dreams is making me kind of sleepy.
So goodnight, everybody ....